Active voice vs passive voice

Wrtitten by José Fuentes
05 December 2013

One important aspect that must be fully clear in every requirement is the fact of “who” or “which subsystem” is the responsible for the action described in the requirement.

In order to clearly state the subject of the requirement, the passive voice should be avoided. Let’s compare these two requirements:

  • “The quality report shall be sent to the quality control team”
  • “The off-line analysis system shall send the quality report to the quality control team”

In the first case, which subsystem is in charge of sending the report?

TIP: aside of asking the classical “what” question for every requirement, ask also “who” to make clear that the structure (pattern) of the requirement is:

Subject + Action + Object + Condition

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